China – Xiaomi Inc. has just launched its laptops, who are supposed to be a cheaper similar alternative to Apple products. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery after all.

Xiaomi has been trying to breach out, not only to other countries outside its normal target but also with other devices different from Smartphones. The biggest breach might be the much-rumored laptop, which finally was launched on Wednesday. Called the Mi Notebook Air, it became very controversial very soon. Mi Notebook Air comes in two variants, 13.3-inch and 12.5-inch displays, and is silver colored (the buyer can also choose a gold version). The laptops are light, less than 1.5 kilos and are Windows 10-based.

The company appears to be targeting Apple’s MacBook Air, showing design similarities with Steve Job’s ultraportable laptop. Image Credit: Gadgets 360

Sawant, from Tech2, gives out the laptops specifications: The 12.5-inch model comes with Intel Core M3 along with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage. The higher end 13.3-inch Mi Notebook Air comes with Intel Core i5-6200U processor, discrete Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics solution, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage.

Both laptops have “one USB Type-C port for charging, 2 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack”, according to Amadeo from Ars Technica.

The 12.5-inch model will cost around $540, 41 and is suppose to have an 11.5 hours battery life; while the 13.3-inch version will be around $750, 63 and should have a 9.5 hours battery life. This makes them the cheaper version of the Apple products.

A talented company

Xiaomi Inc. is a private Chinese electronics company. As of 2015 the company was the world’s 5th largest Smartphone maker, selling 70.8 million units.

In 2014, Xiaomi became the largest Smartphone vendor in China, surpassing Samsung. At the end of that year, the company was considered the most valuable technology start-up in the world, after investors gave it US$1.1 billion in funding.

The market’s company is mainly Asian, especially China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and India. It has starting to breach out, going to Israel and as far as Brazil.

The laptops may not be that successful after all.

Even though the specifications for the Mi Notebook Air seem to be impressive, many experts believe that Xiaomi might not do as well as it expects regarding the laptops.

First of all, the company has become very successful regarding Smartphones, but big players like Lenovo, HP, or even Apple itself offer a greater product portfolio, which is going to undermine the Xiaomi’s competition against the established companies.

Then, the market for the enterprise, especially India or China is becoming harder for laptop vendors. In these countries, people prefer to buy a good Smartphone, and many simply do not have the desire to purchase a computer.

Bryan Ma, a researcher at International Data Corporation, has claimed that in Chine, the notebook market will decline 10.4 percent in 2016, 1.1 percent more than the worldwide decline.

A handful of new products

In recent times, Xiaomi has to try to get into a whole new market with many different products. The company has launched even air and water purifier and a ‘phablet’.

But one of the most interesting new devices is a relatively cheap drone, only $460. The drone comes with a 4K camera imbued with a Sony 12.4-megapixel sensor.  This means video recording a 30 fps and up to 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, and it can also take RAW photos.

Another quirky gadget is a $460 foldable electric bicycle. The bike is part of the new generation of ‘smart bicycles’ and comes with Bluetooth connection and GPS navigation for easy traveling. It will also show the buyer the speed, battery charge, dynamic power and time.

The bike comes with four different modes: Power-saving, Balanced, Fitness and Extra power. It also has a 250W motor with pedal assistance.

Image Credit: Gadgets 360.

Xiaomi also created a self-balancing electric scooter that only costs $315, denominated ‘Ninebot Mini’.

The bike can move at up to 10 mph and go up 15-degree hills. As almost everything else from the company, it’s very light and portable, weighing only 12.8 kilograms (or 28 pounds). The ‘smart scooter’ will let you use your Smartphone to monitor the traffic data and speed.

Finally, the latest gadget is a rice cooker, which can reach up to 105 degrees Celsius, and is cheap as the other products. Costing only $150 is also ‘smart’. Using a complementary app, the user can scan the rice’s barcode and see the rice brand, origin, and type.  Then, the user only has to choose the ‘preferred softness’ and the device will do the rest. The rice cooker can ‘read’ up to two-hundred rice brands, and is capable of handling up to 2,450 combinations of cooking methods.

According to Tech 2, Xiaomi has lost plenty of its market share, and the over-branching could be a strategy to attract investors.

Watch and listen to their nice commercial.

Sources: Tech 2